What I Read This Week (and last week too) 1.1&2

This is a new Category I’m starting.  I plan to post every Friday a quick review of what I’ve read that week.  My weeks will go Friday-Friday.  Since I’m just starting, this post will capture January 1-13.  I will only post books I have finished reading by the time of the post.

  The Me Project is a 21 day guide to working on a dream.  One of the things I really liked about this book was the idea of the 50/50 journal.  It’s a journal with 50 (give or take) goals, one per page.  Then as you accomplish anything toward that goal you record it on it’s page.

For example: one of my goals is having my own violin studio.  Anytime I read a book about violin pedagogy, it goes on the list.  Any time I add a student, it goes on the list.  Taking classes or lessons goes on the list.  Even having my brother design business cards for violin teaching and getting them printed goes on the list.  There is only one rule.  Those crazy-of-course-it-could-never-happen dreams that you don’t tell anyone… they go in the book too.

   The Historian is one of those books that screamed at me from the shelf.  Of course I was drawn to it- I love history.  I read a summary of it and realized it was about the Dracula legend and became less interested and perhaps even disappointed.  Then I was at a used bookstore and saw it for a dollar.  I read the back again and realized even if it was awful it was only a dollar so I brought it home.

I’m so glad I did!  It was great fun.  It’s a generational saga about research with mysterious books, appearances, disappearances, and danger that kicks it up to exciting.  It wasn’t gross at all.  I don’t like vampire stuff in general, but this one was fun.  Adventure and research combined sounds fun to me!

  I would put this book in the same category as Alexander McCall Smith’s books.  It’s delightful and light- just the book to curl up and read on a snowy or rainy day.  I especially liked “the Major.”  Major Pettigrew, the main character is older and I think I can almost understand how is gallantry is offended by his son’s romantic antics.

This story explores what two people share while all the other characters can focus on is how they are different.  The supporting characters- relatives and neighbors seemed like people I know or run into.  What made this book a fun read was the relationships.  Simonson did a good job making the people real and understandable.  Make a cup of tea, find a pair of slippers and curl up for a good story.  You won’t want to move until you’ve finished it!

   I really enjoy reading Stephen Lawhead’s books.  This one centers around a young boy Quentin who volunteers for an unknown and dangerous mission, leaving the service of the priest of Ariel forever to do it.  Quentin is off on an unexpected adventure and meets the friend of a lifetime: Toli when he needs a guide.

There are several mysterious characters: people that Quentin runs into and who help him on his quest.  He often does not discover their significance until later in the story.  Another layer of the book focuses on faith.  Quentin leaves the temple and hears of “the Most High God” who does not accept silver and gold and sacrifice but does demand the very lives of his followers to be lived out in his service.  Quentin and others’ journey to trust in this strange new god is helped by those peoples to whom this god is not new, who have been serving him for a long time.  It’s the first in a trilogy but the ending does not leave you dissatisfied!

  It’s been ten years since Quentin’s life changed from a priest of Ariel to a servant of the Most High God.  A dangerous new threat has come to the people of Mensandor.  Evil is coming and the Theido, Durwin, Toli, and Quentin sense it’s approach.  When King Eskavar sends out scouts to discover it they are thrown once again into an epic adventure and fight for their very lives.

In this installment of the Dragon King trilogy evil is an outside force that threatens them but also a force they must each battle.  King Eskavar must convince the various lords that there actually is a threat.  They are reluctant to admit the need for war because they value peace so highly.  It is an interesting pull to see them wrestle with their desire for calm against the desperate need to fight against this intruder who calls himself god to regain their hard won peace.

  Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be is a 90 day jump start to motivation and change in live.  Partow covers many areas of life: relationships, finances, health, fitness, faith, business, and home management.  She has readers create a “personal notebook” and add various sections and pages to it daily.  Based on Proverbs 31, each day focuses on a different application of a verse form that Psalm.  Readers are also memorizing it as they go.

There are helpful ideas in this book, however it is a little rigid.  I get the sense that it is a how to guide to do life the way that the author has found to work for her.  Some of the pushes: to stay at home and run your own business would not necessarily work for each reader.

** I received a review copy of Partow’s book from Choice Books in exchange for giving them a completed review form.**

  Another approximate ten year gap has passed in Quentin’s life.  This time evil takes a much more personal form.  It is Quentin who wrestles and begins to succumb to depression.  His friends wrestle with how to break through to him and he eventually must evaluate his faith.

I have enjoyed this trilogy and will definitely read it again.  It was such a great story and I was caught up in the adventure.  Quentin is such a likeable character and his wrestling with darkness makes him an even more compelling character.

~ by shostagirl on January 13, 2012.

One Response to “What I Read This Week (and last week too) 1.1&2”

  1. Awesome! I love the short snappy reviews of each one.
    And I really understand the 50/50 goal thing. I thought you’d officially lost it when you mentioned it in your last post. I think that is a fabulous idea.

    P.S. Major Pettigrew was one the best books I read last year. 🙂 And if McCall-Smith is anything like that I will be so happy.

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